Trump Erupts Over His Legal Problems

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Donald Trump’s growing frustration with his civil fraud trial in New York has become increasingly evident during the early days of the proceedings. On Wednesday, Trump’s behavior in the courtroom prompted a warning from Judge Arthur Engoron, who expressed concerns about the former president shaking his head, gesturing, and speaking aloud during witness testimony.

The tension in the courtroom escalated when real estate appraiser Doug Larson took the stand, and Trump was observed conversing animatedly with his defense team. This prompted state lawyers to raise concerns about the disruptive behavior, leading Judge Engoron to call for silence during testimony, particularly if it appeared intended to influence the proceedings.

Trump’s demeanor this week reflects his growing exasperation with the multiple legal battles he’s currently facing. His frustration seems directed particularly at the New York trial, where he’s abandoned the calm and stoic demeanor he displayed during his previous criminal arraignments in Manhattan, Florida, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. The trial, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, accuses Trump, his two eldest sons, and the Trump Organization of inflating his net worth and assets to deceive financial institutions, insurers, and others. Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Trump’s courtroom appearances have been infrequent, but he returned to New York for this trial after missing the second week. On Monday, he opted to campaign in Iowa instead of attending a hearing in Washington, D.C., where a limited gag order was imposed on him in a case related to the 2020 election interference.

Notably, Trump has already been found liable for fraud in connection with the $250 million lawsuit brought by James, but the trial is addressing additional allegations, including falsification of business records and conspiracy.

During the trial, Trump had initially expected to witness the testimony of Michael Cohen, his former fixer-turned-foe. However, Cohen’s health issues delayed his appearance, and real estate appraiser Doug Larson took the stand instead. Larson repeatedly affirmed the accuracy of his property appraisals, which seemed to exasperate Trump.

Tensions flared in the courtroom when one of Trump’s lawyers suggested that Larson should consult his attorney because he believed the witness might perjure himself when questioned about conflicting emails. This exchange prompted a verbal spar between the legal teams, with accusations of government deception and a focus on Trump’s rights.

Amid this heated exchange, Judge Engoron maintained his stance on the need to proceed with questioning without interruptions, indicating his willingness to address any potential perjury later. Trump seized on this moment outside the courtroom, emphasizing that the government was lying and withholding evidence that demonstrated his innocence.

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